The No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft was a costly asset the Carolina Panthers were willing to pay the price for. They used it on Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. Paid the price for Bryce. That's a cool little slogan, yeah?
This clip comes from the third episode of the Panthers' Hard Knocks-esque YouTube series. A lot of teams are doing this these days, which takes away some of the prestige of HBO's long-running show. But anyway, it's pretty dope to see Panthers head coach Frank Reich discuss everything he's looking for in a QB, with intercuts of Young balling out for the Crimson Tide.
Given how unprecedentedly slight-of-frame Young is, I'm still a little stunned that Carolina's stacked-as-fuck coaching staff didn't gamble on Anthony Richardson's upside instead. Yeah, maybe it's in part because I would've won thousands of dollars off a long-shot bet on Richardson to go first overall. But seriously, that's how special Young is as a player and as a person it would seem.
Young comes off as almost too polite and soft-spoken for my liking. As long as you win over the locker room, though, who cares?
Another great moment from this episode is Young roaming the locker room and seeing his stall for the first time with his parents by his side. You can tell how much it means to them.
The former Heisman Trophy winner has already made quite an impression on his new teammates during the offseason program. Just listen to running back Miles Sanders sound off on Young from a Wednesday interview with Rich Eisen:
Football is such a violent sport — YOU DON'T SAY! — so I worry for Young's safety in the NFL. If he can stay healthy, he has the potential to be the best QB in an NFC South division that's begging to be taken.
The Panthers have a solid young core on defense in particular and did a lot to surround Young with more weapons this offseason. They added three new wide receivers. Ole Miss' Jonathan Mingo came aboard via the draft. In free agency, Carolina acquired two veterans: possession/red-zone threat Adam Thielen and size-speed freak DJ Chark. Plus, a new starter in the backfield in Sanders.
Combine all those elements with a decent-enough offensive line, and Young could be cooking on his way to Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.
What a fun start the Panthers have to their schedule, too. First up is a road trip to Atlanta, as the Falcons have similar sleeper-team aspirations. Then it's a Monday Night Football home opener for another divisional clash with the Saints. After that? A cross-country flight to take on the Seahawks in Seattle.
Got my popcorn ready. Not really. That'd be psycho behavior to set popcorn aside for football games that are still months away.
Regardless, irregardless, regardless of the degree of regard, or absent any regard at all, I'm already ready to see Bryce Young light it up.